Cover image for Ghost moon
Title:
Ghost moon
Author:
Robards, Karen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
313 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385319720
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Karen Robards, theNew York Timesbestselling author ofThe Senator's WifeandThe Midnight Hour, has written her most compelling novel yet inGhost Moon, a mesmerizing, powerful tale of forbidden love, family intrigue, and a proud woman's return to the dark secrets of her past. Olivia Morrison, raised by her affluent stepfather John Archer on a lavish estate in Louisiana, enjoyed a life of privilege until she ran off with a cowboy and left the wealthy Archers behind. Years later, with her eight-year-old, Sara, in tow, Olivia returns to that long-ago estate--a prodigal daughter returning home, unsure of what she'll find there. Olivia thinks she is prepared for a chilly reception, but she doesn't expect the emotions that churn when she comes face-to-face again with Seth, her older stepcousin, to whom she had once been so close. Seth, himself the father of a daughter and engaged to be married, is still disturbingly, dangerously, attractive. Olivia must contend, too, with the powerful emotions evoked by the past, and with a flood of dreams about her mother's death by drowning so many years before. When a new danger threatens her and her daughter, Olivia must face down her old demons, and find the courage to confront her new ones, in order to rebuild a new life with her little girl--and with the man she loves.


Author Notes

Karen Robards was born in Louisville, Kentucky on August 24, 1954. She graduated from the University of Kentucky. Her first novel, Island Flame, was published in 1981, when she was 24 years old. Since then, she has written more than 40 contemporary and historical romances including To Love a Man, Sea Fire, One Summer, Irresistible, Whispers at Midnight, Guilty, Shameless, and Sleepwalker. She has received six Silver Pen Awards, two Waldenbooks Wally Awards, one Romantic Times award, a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and has been named to the Romantic Times Romance Writers Hall of Fame. She has written a number of series, including The Banning Sisters and Charlotte Stone. Her title's, The Last Kiss Goodbye and Hush made The New York Times best seller list.

(Bowker Author Biography) Karen Robards is the author of more than twenty novels, including the enduring romance classics To Love a Man and Dark of the Moon and the national bestsellers The Midnight Hour, Ghost Moon, and The Senator's Wife.

(Publisher Provided) Karen Robards is the author of over twenty novels. She began her career as a historical romance writer and is the author of long-time classics: To Love a Man and Dark of the Moon. Her hardcover contemporary suspense novels have appeared on national bestseller lists, including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky.

(Publisher Provided)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Veteran romancer Robards shines in this top-notch suspense novel that will appeal to Mary Higgins Clark fans. Summoned home at the request of a dying stepaunt, single mom Olivia Morrison returns to LaAngelle Plantation in the steamy swamps of Louisiana with her eight-year-old daughter, Sara. Out of touch with the wealthy extended stepfamily who raised her until she ran away to become the teenage bride of a rodeo cowboy, she does not expect a warm welcome. But what she discovers is that her closest cousin, Seth, is also divorced and the father of an eight-year-old daughter, who suffers mightily from spoiled rich-kid syndrome. Meanwhile, alternate chapters detail the stalkings of a serial killer who preys on girls the same age as Sara, creating an edge-of-the-chair impending sense of disaster, which is reminiscent of Joy Fielding's Missing Pieces (1997). As Olivia works toward reconciliation with her stepfamily, she is haunted by dreams of her mother's supposed suicide. She also finds herself romantically drawn to Seth. Robards infuses her captivating tale with a deliciously creepy feeling by depicting Olivia's subconscious in the throes of working through mysterious fears and contending with the eerie presence of strange, whispered voices. --Diana Tixier Herald


Publisher's Weekly Review

The fainthearted should be warned: Robards (The Midnight Hour) has crafted a mossy modern gothic drenched in gore. In northern Louisiana, little girls die at the hands of a twisted villain, and the author's detached style makes the killings' gruesomeness especially hard to take. The psychotic murderer has kidnapped four girls over the course of a decade, and he's ready to strike again. Will the next victim be eight-year-old Sara, weight-conscious daughter of broke, divorced Olivia Morrison? Or will it be eight-year-old Chloe, glamorous offspring of single dad Seth Archer, Olivia's stepcousin? Livvy and Seth remain blissfully ignorant of lurking danger, consumed with the welter of contradictory emotions kicked up by the ongoing drama in their family. Raised by her stepfamily, the wealthy Archer clan, Livvy left La Angelle Plantation nine years ago to become the teen bride of a no-good cowboy. She has just returned to the Louisiana estate, humbled by her greatly reduced circumstances and with daughter Sara in tow. Though she is welcomed back, Livvy is haunted by shadowy, frightening nightmares and the mystery surrounding her mother's death almost 20 years ago. Robards conveys the dusty heat of the Louisiana summer, and has an ear for the nuances of dialogue. But the cast of characters is so big, and the dramatics so unrelenting, that readers never have a chance to fully absorb the dynamics of the clan, and the serial killings remain an unintegrated subplot till the very end. When the bogeyman makes a move close to home, and Livvy and Seth get romantically involved, the murder mystery and the love story finally, satisfyingly, converge. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Returning defeated to the wealthy family estate she fled, Olivia is lucky enough to encounter her handsome stepcousin. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

"Mom, I wet the bed." The small, shamed voice and the little hand that went with it tugged Louise Hardin out of a deep sleep. She opened one groggy eye to discover her daughter Melissa, standing at her bedside in the darkened room. Behind her, the alarm clock glowed the time: one a.m. "Mom." Missy's hand tugged once more at the long sleeve of Louise's pale green nylon nightgown. "Oh, Missy, no! Not again." Louise's whisper was despairing as she rolled out of bed, careful not to disturb her husband, Brock, who slumbered peacefully beside her. Brock had to get up early, at quarter to seven, to be at the office by eight. As he said, the rest of them could sleep all day if they chose, but he had to earn a living. Besides, he hated the fact that Missy sometimes still wet the bed. He was a pediatrician, he knew Missy should be over wetting the bed by now, and he tended to take her frequent accidents personally. Consequently, Louise, Missy, and her ten-year-old sister, Heidi, conspired to conceal Missy's accidents whenever possible. "I'm sorry, Mom," Missy offered in a tiny voice when they gained the relative safety of the hallway outside the bedroom. The blue shag carpet felt soft and warm beneath Louise's bare feet. Through the hall window, left uncurtained because it was small and high and on the second floor, Louise could see pinpricks of tiny stars and a wan sickle moon drifting against the black sky. "At least this time I dreamed I was on the potty. It seemed so real! And then I was all wet, and I woke up and I wasn't on the potty at all." "All your dreams seem so real." If Louise's voice was just a tad dry, she couldn't help it. She was really, really tired, and this was getting to be almost a nightly occurrence. As a seven-year-old, Missy was getting her up at night almost as much as she had when she was a baby. Light glowed around the partially closed door of the hall bathroom, illuminating the path to Missy's bedroom, which was at the far end of the hall, past Heidi's bedroom and a smaller guest bedroom. Louise had started leaving the light on at night because, in addition to wetting her bed, Missy had suddenly become afraid of the dark. She had nightmares about monsters hiding in her room and watching her as she slept. Sometimes she woke up screaming, and Louise would jump from bed like she had been shot and race down the hall to find her daughter huddled in the center of her bed, in a ball, with the covers pulled over her head, crying her eyes out and gasping something that made no sense. Inevitably, Louise ended up bringing Missy into bed with her and Brock, a practice of which he strongly disapproved. That, Brock informed her, was undoubtedly a large part of Missy's problem. Louise treated her like a baby, rewarding her misdeeds by giving her attention (which was what Brock said she wanted all along) when Missy should have been disciplined instead. Louise knew that Brock probably knew best--as he frequently pointed out, he was the expert--but she could not find it in her heart to punish her seven-year-old daughter for being afraid of the dark. Or for wetting the bed. Or, as Brock said, for nearly anything at all. The ammonialike smell of urine struck Louise in the face as soon as she stepped inside Missy's room. She sighed. Missy's hand twitched in hers. "I'm really sorry, Mom," Missy offered again. Without a word, Louise let go of Missy's hand, closed the door, turned on the light, and crossed to the chest to extract a clean nightgown from a drawer. When she turned around, nightgown in hand, she was frowning. Maybe Brock was right, she thought. Maybe she should try being a little tougher on Missy. She was really becoming tired of getting up in the middle of almost every single night. Accustomed to the ritual, Missy had already pulled her wet nightgown off and was in the act of dropping it on the floor. Lips thinning, Louise moved to her daughter's side and tugged the dry nightgown over Missy's head. As the gown fell into place, she reached around behind Missy's neck to free the long dark brown braid of her daughter's hair. When Missy glanced quickly up at her, her big hazel eyes questioning, Louise gave the braid a small tug. "You can help me change the sheets," she said, with more sternness than was usual for her. "Are you mad at me, Mom?" Missy asked humbly, as the two of them worked together to strip the wet sheets from the bed. Louise's heart smote her. Missy was so very little, after all. And she was small for her age. She'd been born six weeks premature, and Louise had often thought that her early arrival might account for some of Missy's problems. Her body had just not yet matured as much as that of most seven-year-olds. Brock, of course, said that was nonsense. Damn Brock. "No, baby, I'm not mad at you." Her task made easier by the vinyl cover that saved the mattress from total ruin, Louise carefully tucked in the corners of the clean sheets that were kept, along with spare blankets, in a trunk at the foot of Missy's bed. She smoothed a pink wool blanket over the sheets and pulled back a corner. "Hop in." "Don't tell Daddy," Missy said, obeying. "I won't." It was a ritual, these words. Some part of Louise felt it was wrong to promise to keep something a secret from Missy's father, but the larger, practical part didn't want to listen to Brock's lectures if he discovered that Missy had wet the bed again. She didn't want Missy to have to listen to them, either. No matter whether Brock was the expert or not. Louise tucked the clean, dry bedclothes around her daughter as Missy snuggled onto her side, a small smile curving her lips as her cheek burrowed deep into the pillow with its tiny white hearts on a deep pink background. "Good night, baby." Louise brushed her lips across the warmth of her daughter's exposed cheek, and straightened. "I love you, Mommy." Missy's voice was already sleepy, and her eyelashes were beginning to droop. "I love you, too, Miss Mouse. Now go back to sleep." Louise gathered up the wet bedding and nightgown. "Leave the bathroom light on." "I will," Louise promised. Excerpted from Ghost Moon by Karen Robards All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.